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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Mourners pay tribute to the life of ‘our little star’

Around 200 people were at St Michael’s Church in Workington on Tuesday to remember the life of dancer, amateur actress and mother-of-two Louise Jane Ray.

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SERVICE: Family and friends attend the funeral of Louise Ray

Family, friends, neighbours and fellow performers paid their respects at the funeral of the 34-year-old.

She died on August 3, two weeks after a fire at her home in Walker Road, Salterbeck.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow was played as the coffin was carried into church, adorned with pink and purple flowers, interspersed with butterflies.

The service began with the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful, followed by a Bible reading.

Canon Bryan Rowe told mourners: “Today is a celebration of her life because she was certainly a very talented young lady who sadly didn’t live the number of years we all hoped and prayed she would.

“She left legacies all over the place and hundreds of people’s lives will have been touched by this remarkable lady.

“Every one of us is hurting – every one of us except Louise. She’s now at peace with the Lord.”

Born in Lowca, Miss Ray attended Workington’s Westfield infant and junior and Southfield schools.

Her first job was at the Times & Star, initially on reception and then in the advertising department.

She later worked for CFM Radio and as a counter assistant and then manageress of Ladbrokes in Workington town centre.

The congregation heard that Miss Ray’s happiest times had been helping to run Workington and District Amateur Musical Society’s junior section, for which she choreographed many shows.

She had danced from the age of three and competed in local festivals, also running her own dance school for a time.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Rowe said: “She was very proud of her two boys, Daniel and Robbie, and loved them so, so much.”

She also had a special relationship with her niece and nephew Macy and Clayton.

The family’s tribute included a message which said: “Shine bright in the sky our little star. We’ll love you forever.”

The words of the hymn Faithful Shepherd, Feed Me were read. It ended with the words: “Then let angels bear me to thy promised rest.”

The service concluded with the hymn Give Me Oil In My Lamp before the coffin was carried from the church to the song (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.

The songs were ones that Miss Ray liked to sing and dance to, Mr Rowe said.

The funeral was followed by a committal at Distington Hall Crematorium and a wake at the Masonic Hall.

Donations in Miss Ray’s memory, totalling £300, were collected for the special care baby unit at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, a cause which she had supported by a sponsored climb of Great Gable.

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